c. 1300, "succeed in reaching, come so near as to touch," from ataign-, stem of Old French ataindre "to come up to, reach, attain, endeavor, strive" (11c., Modern French atteindre), from Vulgar Latin *attangere, corresponding to Latin attingere "to touch; arrive at," from ad "to" (see ad-) + tangere "to touch" (from PIE root *tag- "to touch, handle"). Latin attingere had a wide range of meanings, including "to attack, to strike, to appropriate, to manage," all somehow suggested by the literal sense "to touch." Related: Attained; attaining.
1540s, "action of acquiring by effort, act of reaching by exertion," from French atteignement, from attaindre "to come up to, reach, attain, endeavor, strive" (see attain). The sense of "that which is attained, personal accomplishment" dates from 1670s.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to touch, handle," with figurative extensions ("border on; taste, partake of; strike, hit; affect, impress; trick, cheat; mention, speak of").
It forms all or part of: attain; contact; contaminate; entire; intact; integer; integrate; integrity; noli me tangere; tact; tactics; tactile; tangent; tangible; task; taste; tax; taxis.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Latin tangere "to touch," taxare "to touch, assess," tactus "touch," integer "intact, whole, complete, perfect; honest;" Greek tassein "to arrange," tetagon "having seized;" Old English þaccian "stroke, strike gently."
1690s, "completely skilled, well-versed," from Latin adeptus "having reached or attained," past participle of adipisci "to come up with, arrive at," figuratively "to attain to, acquire," from ad "to" (see ad-) + apisci "to grasp, attain" (related to aptus "fitted," from PIE root *ap- (1) "to take, reach," for which see apt). Related: Adeptly; adeptness.
"attain or exist in a state of perfect felicity," often with out (adv.), by 1973, U.S. colloquial, from bliss (n.).
"that must be done as a condition," c. 1600, past-participle adjective from require (v.). Required reading, that which must be read to attain an understanding of a subject, is attested from 1881.